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Reading Lists Online - guide for academic staff

Threshold standards and best practice

These are recommend standards for all Reading Lists Online RLO's)

  • RLO's should be well structured to guide the student to relevant reading throughout the module (for example Week by Week, Lecture by Lecture, Themes etc)
  • Any required reading should be prioritised at 'Essential', with additional or supporting reading indicated as 'Background' readings.
  • For essential reading, your Library will aim to acquire a multi-access electronic version. Where resources are available in print format only, or with limited electronic access, extracts should be selected for digitisation (one chapter or 10% of a book, one journal article per journal issue). or another title selected. For more information please see the section  on Digitisation.
  • If an RLO is not structured and prioritised, especially in the case of long lists (over 75 items), Learning and Teaching (L&T) Librarians will contact academics and ask them to identify 10-15 books that will feature highly in their teaching. These will be checked for e-book availability and the academics will be notified to allow them to decide which items should be made 'Essential'. L&T Librarians can also provide advice on alternative resources in the subject areas. For information on who is your L&T Librarian, please check the Directory of Subject Librarians below.
  • Where print format is the only option, items should not be made 'Essential'.
  • Your reading list will automatically be linked from Blackboard, on the module home page. It is also possible to link to specific sections in your RLO in corresponding sections on your Blackboard module stie. For more information see the section on Your RLO on Blackboard. 
  • Wherever possible, student numbers on the module should be included on the RLO.
  • RLO's should be created and/ or updated and sent to the Library Services teams using the Review process in a timely manner, to ensure that materials will be available for the start of teaching. If possible, RLO's should be sent for Review by the end of July for Semester 1 modules, and by the end of November for Semester 2 modules.

RLO Best Practice Guidelines for SHU

This online reading list contains a range of resources relating to reading lists which help provide an evidence base for the best practice guidelines in reading lists at SHU. The resources will help you explore and better understand:

  • the pedagogy underpinning reading lists
  • students expectations and use of reading lists
  • what makes a good reading list such as annotating

eBooks are a good way of improving the accessibility of resources for students.  The presentation below highlights some of the licensing issues.

Working with Work Based Learning courses

Following the 5 points in this document will help support the development of best practice in reading lists for students on WBL courses by anticipating the needs of students who may be new to HE or returning to HE after a substantial break and students who are doing a course alongside 30+ hours of employment who therefore may not find it easy to come into SHU libraries.

The document includes information about a reading list template developed to support course designers developing new work based learning modules. This has been endorsed by SHU's Work Based Learning Framework Panel.

Good examples of Reading Lists

The following two reading lists demonstrate some of the techniques that can be used to make youR lists more engaging for your students.

Leadership and organisations 44-604583

  • Key chapters identified for each topic
  • Articles for discussion in seminars
  • Additional materials for assignments
  • Items identified as Essential, Background or Optional

Germany 1890-1933: From Reich to Republic 77-501814

  • Compulsory online reading identified for each week
  • Digitised copies of relevant book chapters and journal articles available
  • Range of resource types

Student Comments - Suggestions for Future Reading Lists